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June 28, 2018


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"I wanted to believe" Jon Talton

"Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board" Zora Neale Hurston"

Empty Suits the man do not make.

No empty suit. the real thing.

X files, I never saw the original and haven't turned my tv on for 15 months and have no plans to do so.

I entertained a notion in the '90s that politics required truth-tellers more than pragmatists. The problem was that the scorched-earth politics of the GOP was already in full burn. Some of it was intensely insane, from Hillary knocking off Vince Foster to Janet Reno targeting white gun owners. It was really bizarre that the news was dominated by a scandal no one could begin to explain. The New York Times tried but Whitewater was impervious to light. It went on for six years and nothing more than an affair between two hyper-sexual individuals was ever revealed.

Those days seem halcyon by comparison to the current insanity. Donald Trump occupies his own alternative reality and the Republican Party is now wholly in his camp. There is no norm left to violate. Indeed, anything that glorifies the Orange Anus is the new norm. We live in a science fiction TV show that roughly corresponds to quotidian reality but is still radically different.

So, what was this truth I thought was not being discussed in the '90s? I struggle to remember because I can't recall what exercised me about those largely calm days. I think I probably wanted more traditional liberalism and less Clintonian triangulation. But given that we had it so good, exactly what was the problem?

I think it can be explained this way. America went bonkers when the dominant paradigm - The Cold War - ended. Our entire self-concept was destroyed when the Berlin Wall fell and we had to replace one cosmic enemy with another. Guess what? Republicans figured that out and immediately decided who fit the bill: Democrats.

Timothy McVeigh had two voluntary associations in his life: the Republican Party and the NRA. He blew up a federal building in order to jump-start a race war. Like many other right-wing fantasies, this one never materialized. But their dream never died. By 2016, a major party candidate ran on an explicitly racist platform about the current president. He won.

We can complain long and hard about Democrats and their centrist ways. I wish we had those days back because we're staring down a sharp descent as a democracy. Left-wing purity rituals won't soften the fall. We lost a battle for America's soul and we have yet to touch bottom. When we do, it will be over faster than we could imagine. Good and hard.

"Left wing purity rituals"
Me thinkest you need to enter the sweat lodge, it may be your last chance to contribute to the truth and avoid the 2nd coming of mass gas chambers.
In empty walmarts?

Again, as I've said numerously in other online forums, this election will be the one where we either understand what the stakes are, or we just meekly let our cherished democracy slide toward the dark abyss of authoritarian tyranny.

trump and his storm-troopers are committed to the ideology of white supremacy and nihilism toward the existing government that stands in their way. If they can't get rid of minorities, the LGBTQ community, Democrats, and kindness, they are intent on making life as difficult as they can for those they despise and hate. They revel in being bullying, mean, hateful, aggressively vile, and spiteful.

They want everything "their way," and if they can't get that and more, they intend to be as socially disruptive and morally destructive as possible.

This is their mission, and trump and his supporters really do enjoy creating such structural mayhem.

This realization should be alarming to those of us who realize that "the deep state" and the admittedly high taxes to maintain that "deep state" are the price we in the majority willingly pay for America's stability, continuity, and predictability to the larger world.

While the "deep state" most certainly has its flaws, I don't see anything even remotely resembling something better being touted as a replacement coming from trump and his toadying republicans. Just "tear it down, and we'll fill in the blanks later."

If we in the majority of the electorate don't realize what the stakes are for our country's stability in November--and vote for stability, we will be enabling trump and his destructive cohorts to quite likely deal a fatal blow to many of our cherished freedoms. That will begin something quite terrifying for those of us who believe in the light of liberty, freedom, and democracy for all Americans--and not just for the "chosen few."

“Left-wing purity rituals “ Bravo soleri. Bradley, I think your train has already left the station.

"I wanted to believe."
To much koolaid.
The 1990's was a mirage.
White purity in the Americas has been the name of the game since 1450. Backed up by felonious monks and other religious kooks.
I'll opt for the current left wing purity version over what else is out there. If my name was drifter and i was 38 years younger i quickly drift off to a country besides the Make USA great again.

Cal from T Shirt and Levi country where the summer is my paradise.
PS. In 1975 at my request the Phoenix Police Chief Lawerence Wetzel did away with cops wearing ties. But i notice the last few years they have started to make a comeback but even worse is the Robocop look.

Cal, that mirage was good enough to enable a functioning democracy that was also a global force for stability. Yes, there were flaws because human beings are fearful, greedy, and tribal. Republicans figured out that exploiting these weaknesses would advance their power. Much of this can be ascribed to Newt Gingrich's cynical use of language and process. Fox News began using the costume of journalism to bewitch America's least informed citizens. Rush Limbaugh helped, hectoring the rubes with dark conspiracy theories. If you were at all awake during that period, you saw the mirage of authoritarianism became increasingly lifelike.

We now have a president who colluded with a Russian dictator to disrupt our elections in order to enable his victory. You wonder how this happened? I'll tell you, but you first need to get a mirror. This happened because millions of citizens like you decided an experienced public servant who operated entirely within the guardrails of democracy was the sinister actor. Remember how happy you were when she lost? You and Ruben were doing a victory dance on the blog. I'm tempted to go back and read to you some of your comments but there's really no necessity. You're still banging your left-wing bongo drums suggesting she was the real threat.

You helped elect Donald Trump and no amount of left-wing sanctimony can alter that damning fact. You did so because you confuse the left's mirages of paranoia for reality. You have an excellent friend named Jon Talton who could actually help you see how wrong and distorted most of this stuff was. But you were intoxicated. You still are.

American democracy was failed mostly by the American right, forever cynical and disengenuous. But beginning in 2000 with Ralph Nader, and in 2016 with Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein, the left decided to use purity mirages to attack the progressive coalition. It's almost as if the hard left is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Republican Party. Yes, I know that's my bit of conspiratorial thinking. But I'm always asking why people could be facile with false equivalences. Hillary Clinton was the mainstream democrat (notice the small D). Donald Trump was (and is) the vile authoritarian.

If you think Americanism should be loud, stupid, and cruel you'll be okay with this result. On the other hand, if you think America is beyond redemption because of past failures, you'll see Trump as merely the continuation of long-term trends. You will be, now and forever, a fool. Cal, I love you, but you are wrong here in a way that makes me despair of our common humanity.

I like reading Rogue because I don't often agree with the politics, especially nationally, and that contrariness to my predispositions helps me clarify my thoughts. But what I really enjoy is that sometimes, in unpredictable ways, he makes me want to stand up and say "hallelujah!"

This opening editorial on modern dress is one such moment. I, too, look around sometimes and can't believe what is acceptable to wear in public today. The beard trend doesn't bother me too much, except for a nagging suspicion that many guys may be jumping on the hairy bandwagon out of laziness to avoid having to shave. Tattoo's perplex me. I always figured visible tattoos were for people who weren't concerned about getting mainstream employment. How wrong I was. They are everywhere now in society and everywhere on bodies. These things contribute to my general sense that I'm no longer living in the present, but living in the future. And it's a strange, strange place.

Soleri, I enjoy reading your posts when you get on a roll. You seem to me to be an articulate voice for traditional liberalism. It's apparent that in the last year or so, after the Sanders surge and the Clinton defeat, much of the Democratic party has moved sharply to the left. I'm interested in your opinion, do you think this current trend is also a "left wing purity ritual"? Will Democrats have success embracing socialism?

Walt i always rejoice when i bring out the best in you. Go ahead look at my previous posts but Hillary losing was not MY fault. A fool i may be or as the Russian zaid, "crazy". But for now i am backing the female socialistic democrat from NY. Otherwise great writing on your part. Always Good to see you here.
i was never for Donald Trump. He is a infantile psychotic nightmare. The most dangerous human this planet has ever had in its entire history.

Jon, the problem here is that there are a million shades of gray and this one hypnotizing word "socialism". I am proud to be a social democrat. That is, I want a safety net (health care, old-age security, even a national income floor), public investments such as education and infrastructure, and finally, common decency, the kind Donald Trump neither possesses nor displays.

The American right appeals to people's meanness and cruelty. These citizens will vote, for example, against health care for others, while enjoying Medicare for themselves.They will extol "life" as a paramount value and then mock immigrant kids locked in cages. They will decry deficit spending during a grave economic crisis (see 2009) and ignore it at the apogee of a long economic boom (see 2017). They are free traders when so instructed by their media and protectionists when the instructor is an economically illiterate blowhard.

Life is not entirely one thing or another, of course. There are many good reasons to be conservative about those things that are profoundly good like the environment, cultural heritage, and all the various and sundry things that keep humans connected and happy. I'm not a liberal in order to stage-manage the lives of others. You should be free to have the life and social matrix of your choice. I'm liberal about the commons, its enhancement and preservation. Most of all, I'm liberal about an idea, democracy. It's not intrinsic to our nature. We have to work at it and overcome the all-too natural pettiness and tribalism that afflicts human beings.

Right now, there is only one force in America that is committed to democracy and it's not your party, which has devolved into a cult dedicated to probably the vilest human being ever elected to high office in this country. Your party is virulently anti-conservative in this way. Donald Trump is an existential threat to American values and interests. It's almost as if he puts Russia's interests above America's, in fact. Strange, strange times.

I invite you to consider the only political force that is reasonably decent and sane. Democrats don't have all the answers (which explains why Cal is trying to start a conversation with an outlier on the fringe). We need sane Republicans badly. Sadly, your party has now condemned these people as RINOs. I never thought I would say this but I admire the real conservatives like George Will, David Brooks, and Jennifer Rubin who I used to loathe. Democracy is on the line. Please join them and help end this grave crisis in America. Country first, country last, and to hell with the hyper-partisan hacks dividing us.

“Left-wing purity ritual”
To engage in various liberal protests, blogs and other feel good political activities except for actually voting for a Democratic candidate on Election Day who could win.

My only disagreement with your wonderful column is that I think a suit can look without a tie :)

Current Authoritarians in powerful positions
Not my fault
Hungry, Prime Minister Victor Orban, White Calvinist, anti Semitic and Muslim immigration
Russia, President Vladimir Putin, White guy supported by the Orthodox Christian church of Russia.
Italy, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, White guy, Roman Catholic
Belgium, Viaams Belang or Flemish Block Party and Flemish Movement (collaborators with Nazi Germany)
Germany, Alexander Gauland, AfD, white racist Christian. Proud of German soldiers in World War’s one and two.
Turkey, President Recep Erdogan, white dude, Muslim. In 2011, Erdoğan ordered the tearing-down of the Statue of Humanity
Saudi Arabia, KIng Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, White guy, Wahhabi religious movement within Sunni Islam . Anti Semitic but seems to Hate Iran more than Israel.
Israel, Prime minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu, White Jewsih guy. anti Arabs particularly Muslims. He and family under investigation for numerous crimes against the state. Possible collusion with Trump family.
Donald Trump, , Putin gopher.

Clever drifter, But how do you know. Access to voting machines?

And How do you know that Bernie would not have beat Donnie? Huh, how do you know?

The Americas were just fine before 1450 and the genocidal religious white guys.

As I recall, Trump once tried form a native american tribe to get yet another casino. He has replaced the mobile tepee with permanent ugly towers where the Throne is a golden shitter for his flatulence ass.

The idea that pre-1492 Indians were peaceful caretakers of Eden is bad history, the long-running "romantic primitivism" myth recycled for a new era.

In fact, the indigenous nations fought each other, conquered and lost territory, built and broke alliances, took and sold slaves. The white tribes merely proved too numerous and holding superior technology. The Aztecs were done in by superstition and bad leadership.

I suggest everyone read "The Comanche Empire" by Pekka Hämäläinen.

Bernie would have lost in a landslide because, contrary to lefty True Believers, most people are not eager to have their taxes raised for what amounts to an aging hippie's pipe dream. Republicans would have hammered him to a pulp on single-payer. They were salivating at the prospect, which is why they never dissed him. Instead, they fed him anti-Clinton tropes, which he gladly used against the only Democrat running who had a chance to win. You purists are fairly shameless on this subject since you bought his Hillary demonology in its entirety. Congratulations. Karl Rove is proud of you.

Soleri, thanks for the food for thought. I would agree with you that hyper partisanship is not healthy for democracy. What I'm getting at is that Democrats appear to be headed in a more partisan direction, not trying to appeal as much to the political middle as much as to fire up the more partisan base. I'm not trying to define socialism here as much as note that the label, which previously would have been denied and avoided as politically toxic, is now openly embraced by an increasing number in the party. Previously fringe positions are being adopted by more mainstream politicians and previously fringe politicians are winning some primaries. My question is do you think this will be a formula for success for Democrats, or should they be more moderate and trying to appeal to the voter in the middle? Are moderate politicians in both parties necessary for democracy to work? As a political junkie, I'm interested in what those within the left think about this. As a citizen, it does not seem like a positive development for democracy, or am I wrong about that?

Jon, I have read all that including human sacrificial rituals. U sound like an attorney that once told me if we hadn't done it to the Indians they would have done it to us. I think the Americas were better off without christian white folks.

I can stand the heat in what ever form. Verbal or temperature. I am still here in the great Sonoran Desert. What's left of it.
Only 102 here today!
Portland a staggering 77
Seattle, a gloomy wet 67

What I miss:
The Last Intellectual Late-Night Talk Show
Dick Cavett succeeded because Americans still had an appetite for insightful conversations—and he was just the man to provide them.

Jon, my comment was reference prior to 1450. The Comanches rise to power began in the 1700 hundreds and a primary source of their power was the horses they stole from the Spaniards that brought domesticated illegal immigrants to the Americas.

"The Comanche Empire" by Pekka Hämäläinen.

In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, a Native American empire rose to dominate the fiercely contested lands of the American Southwest, the southern Great Plains, and northern Mexico. This powerful empire, built by the Comanche Indians, eclipsed its various European rivals in military prowess, political prestige, economic power, commercial reach, and cultural influence. Yet, until now, the Comanche empire has gone unrecognized in American history.


Jon, politics was played in the middle for much of the post-war period, which was probably the high point of American democracy. The cracks started to show in 1968 when Nixon took the nation to the dark side and the culture ware began. Since then, democracy has grown weaker with each passing decade. Here we are 50 years later and the dirtiest word in the lexicon is centrist.

Of course, it's a mistake for Democrats to lose elections out of misplaced idealism. I understand why Democrats are going there, however. We've had national paralysis now for 20 years. The only things we can do apparently involves cutting taxes on the wealthy and building a harebrained border wall. In this vacuum, the idealists have wondered why we don't tackle real-world problems. Party pros remind them that it's never that simple, that you have to build a coalition to advance difficult proposals like single-payer health care. But these same party pros no longer command a conventional political force. That power is diffuse and spread like a spilled box of salt across the landscape. There's more power in the media, particularly social media, but it tends to magnify the unrooted quality of most political wish lists. Republicans have it much easier. Simply blame minorities for everything and appeal to the cultural grievances of low-information white voters. Nothing much gets done but their tribal unity is definitely enhanced. Democrats should be so lucky.

So, the answer is yes: it is a mistake to veer left in this unstable terrain. I understand why the idealists feel the way they do. I also hope cooler heads prevail but I feel a sense of doom about America and democracy I didn't have before. It's a shame this has happened to us. I'm not in a forgiving mood but that in itself changes nothing. There's just shouting and bitterness played on an endless tape loop. God help us.

I always enjoy Soleri's posts, he seems to be reasonably articulate and left-leaning. However, methinks he should re-read a couple of entries above: he appears to blame Cal for T's electoral victory, and appears to think Jon supports the republicants. We all know this is not his intent, but lengthy screeds prefaced by an individual's name have the appearance of being addressed to that individual. That said, commenters on RC usually preach to the choir. Happy summer, everyone, November is coming!

"God help us"??
I suggest reading, God is Red and Custer Died for your Sins by U of A professor Vine Deloria Jr

Norm, it's true I'm blaming Cal, but this is a kind of necessary rhetorical ploy. That is, you will take politics seriously enough to connect an argument to its consequences. If you didn't vote for Hillary Clinton, the only qualified candidate running in 2016, you failed America. Donald Trump just didn't happen to us. We The People voted for that boorish pig or didn't vote for the only viable alternative to him. Now, Cal is a granule of democracy, just like all of us. We argue politics not to be unpleasant but to get at core problem of collective responsibility. Elections not only have consequences but the beliefs that inform one's vote do as well.

Cal in his personhood is above reproach. I've met him several times and I can vouch for his humanity. I find it painful to attack his beliefs/arguments knowing him the way I do. Sometimes you become obnoxious to make a point. I hate crossing that line but I'm all-too human in that way. BTW, my favorite political aphorism is vote as if other people matter. Conscious citizenship is the glory of democracy. Losing democracy is very personal to me.

U men your blaming ALL the Cals, who ever they are, that didnt vote for Hillary.But you dont know whO this Cal voted for as i tell no one who i vote for.

Plz scuse de typos

Soleri wrote,

Republicans have it much easier. Simply blame minorities for everything and appeal to the cultural grievances of low-information white voters. Nothing much gets done but their tribal unity is definitely enhanced. Democrats should be so lucky.

I think Democrats are trying to create that luck. Just flip the words: Simply blame white supremacy for everything and appeal to the cultural grievances of low-information minority voters.

Like you, I have also observed that social media has fueled partisanship and tribalism, and as Rogue noted partisan media plays a role, too.

Thanks for sharing.

Cal, good article. I didn't read the whole thing, but I got the gist. I have read in other places about the surveys showing younger people are more open to socialism. Those who grew up in the postwar years after we fought the war against the National Socialists of Germany and during the Cold War against the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, were predisposed to look askance at anything with the socialist label. Today's youth are too young to remember and schools don't much teach about the failures of those governments.

Jon, the original sin of America didn't involve a bunch of PC police and Social Justice Warriors shaming people about "patriarchy" and "privilege". Rather, the sin is interwoven through the entirety of American history where a group of people were systematically brutalized because of their skin color. Full stop.

This brutalization went on for centuries. The aftereffects are still with us today in the haunted gazes of too many African Americans. I get it that you don't like them, and truth to tell, I often find myself not liking them either. But there is absolutely no equivalence between what they suffered and the skin pricks of irritation you feel when someone calls you (or me) a "racist".

Your once proud political party is now a toxic political cult dedicated to stoking grievances and resentment about minorities. Democrats, by contrast, still do serious policy, law, and empirical studies. Yes, there are those irritating youngsters self-righteously hurling their shaming jargon. I dislike them a lot but not like I dislike the utterly vile Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions, Stephen Miller, et al. The kids have very little power. White supremacists, by contrast, have virtually all of the goddamn federal government now. Count yourself fortunate to have such an array of moral amnesiacs in your media since this doesn't bother you one iota.

one for the Indians?
Thanks to promises made to Northwest tribes in the mid-1850s by Isaac Stevens, Washington’s first territorial governor, no state has a more impressive record of losing legal battles with Indian tribes than Washington does.

Talton on Socialism vs Capitalism

"Meanwhile, most will remain ignorant of social democracy in Europe. It’s been successfully demonized by the same “free market” crowd and the fact that most Americans just don’t know much of the world (or even of their own country)."

As the Democratic Party prepares for the midterms and the 2020 Presidential election, it should pay close attention to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s explicitly populist, anti-establishment campaign.

drifter, we won't really know if that train has left the station until November. How important democracy is to the political middle will unfold then.

But I wouldn't be surprised if the political middle cares only about their balance sheet, because that's "trickle down" greedynomics in action--and those entranced by it pay little attention to individual rights and freedoms.

One thing liberals forgot in 2016 was the lesson of the 2000 election.

I absolutely voted for Hillary because, while I understood she was the "establishment," I also felt trump was just pandering to "ugly americanism" and was a complete neophyte both in governing and diplomacy.

I think most of us, after almost two years of trump, see that he is not very well suited to getting along with the rest of the world--or with that part of America that disagrees with him. I do hope the majority of Americans see how toxic his personality is to performing the duties of the presidency both here at home and across the world.

We will absolutely be standing at the edge of the precipice in November.

Some, “Grab the broom of anger and (to) drive off the beast of anger.” Zora Neale Hurston

“Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board.” ZNH

It may be too late to get on board our ship may have sailed!

Believe this.
Michele Reagan seems to have misplaced or lost my early voter information?
And I am a republican.

Barbara Lee’s Rise In The Democratic Party Would Be Another Coup For The Left

She was the only member of Congress to vote against the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force legislation giving congressional approval for the invasion of Afghanistan. Her speech warning of the risks of overreaction to the tragic terror attacks ― “let us not become the evil we deplore,” she intoned ― is now widely viewed by progressives and other war critics as prescient.

I love people who are right about everything since they're never tainted by real power. This is why gadflies are so alluring to idealists. The moment you begin rolling that boulder up the mountain, you realize how difficult life can be. You have to do things you swore you'd never do like compromise, log-roll, and even lie.

We don't need more purists in high office. We need more adults. And we definitely need more adults voting. The only thing that is going to save us is political power, which means voting for the lesser evil and the achievable good. Life isn't easy. Being righteous is. Please choose well.

Well Sysiphus your right. Life is tough but theres always suicide. And such is the current handling of the planet by the Trumps and the Zinkes and Pruitt's and their White Supremist Evangelistic Tribe. So i am for getting behind some new Rock Rollers. And You?
Your pal

Albert, you don't have to roll that boulder all by yourself. There's are tens of millions of others who are willing to help. Sadly, they're not always the kind of people you want them to be. Some accept partial remedies instead of holding out for perfect solutions. Others are a bit squeamish about socialism!!! while some are others favor a strong military. The trick is to get them moving in your direction even if they have slightly different ideas about the ultimate goal. Coalitions are not tribes. There will always be different interests and value systems in them. But it's how democracy works in America.

And it's infinitely better than ending up with Donald Trump as president.

The bad news. On my birthday Trump is going to nominate someone for the Supreme court.
And todays Horoscope says. "The challenges are to big for one person"

Cal, consider this counterfactual. Hillary is president and she nominates the California Supreme Court Judge Mariano-Florentino Cuellar. He will cement into place a 5-4 liberal advantage on SCOTUS (no Neil Gorsuch - Hillary appointed Merrick Garland instead). Over at Interior, Hillary appointed Richard Ayres, one of the nation's top environmental attorneys. At the EPA, she installed Julia Hill, one of the nation's top environmental scientists.

Your values are much more closely aligned, of course, but you still resent her for not being Bernie. But politics is not salvation. You make an adult judgment about which candidate represents your interests. On every level imaginable, Hillary is much closer to your values than Donald Trump.

Counterfactuals can be played in a lot of different ways, of course. It might well have been the case that Hillary would have faced impeachment proceedings for Benghazi!!! or her e-mail server. Mitch McConnell would have announced that it would be inappropriate to consider her nominee given this "cloud" over her presidency.

This points out why you need to vote not just for the best person but the best party as well. Republicans are not inherently terrible human beings but they have become moral and political eunuchs in the permanent right-wing rage machine that is their party. Democrats, by contrast, are sane, liberal, and intelligent.

You were not alone in voting against Hillary from the left. I think it's possible that the number was in the millions. Consider what all of you lost, and what America lost, when you indulged a false equivalence that still burns the tips of my fingers when I type that phrase. On every level a sentient adult can make, Hillary Clinton would have been robustly sane, liberal, and committed to her party's agenda. That agenda isn't perfect, but it's manifestly closer to yours than Donald Trump's.

Elections have consequences. This last one is the consequence of millions of earnest but naive lefties voting against their own interests because they got swept up into a quasi-religious demonology that resulted in the election of Donald Trump. I hope you've learned something but I'm still not sure you're listening.

Cal, I understand the allure of Bernie, and in a perfect world people would want to share in the manner Bernie and the Socialists advocate. Sharing with one another is what the God I believe in would want us to do. And it's what God's son Jesus taught.

But this is the land of ambition and unmitigated greed, and way too many Americans are too self-centered, mercenary, and cynical to actually "pay it forward."

trump is showing to all of us idealists like me how bad the consequences of not voting for "the next best thing" will be.

Pragmatism is understanding that a huge part of America is fine with an "everyone for themselves" society. Part and parcel to that thinking is that anything less than Laissez-Faire is seen as moving toward Communism.

We Democrats and "freedom, rights, and equality for everyone" people are stuck with this mercantilist, consumerist, materialist, and aggressively greedy society that is America.

Someone like Bernie, while being for the most part morally and ethically correct, is unelectable at the moment because of the accumulative society we live in.

Hillary was the "next best thing" that was electable, and all of us that are pained by what trump is doing should understand that we cannot afford to let idealism stand in the way of pragmatism. The consequences of trump running amok for another two years are terrifying--much less another four or six years.

Cal, I failed to note that Hillary was a greasy product of the Washington she lived in for decades. And that Hillary probably engaged in some unethical dealings to get the nomination.

Hillary was hardly a morally-upstanding candidate. I knew she was a heavily-tainted individual.

That being said, I voted for her as the lesser of two evils because, on balance, she stood for many, many, many more of my beliefs than trump did.

I hope many in the political middle will take what trump has done to undermine American democracy and freedom into consideration in the November midterms.

No disrespect, Bradley, but parts of your above post read like GOP or Bernie Bro propaganda

The right spent 25 years demonizing HRC with lies, distortions and a heavy dose of misogyny. Sanders picked it up.

In fact, she was one of the most qualified candidates in history and would have made a good, even great president.

Appreciate your post Soleri. I agree with all except the part where you assume who i voted for.

Cal, I wish I didn't have to "assume". You could fix that if you cared to.

One thing to remember about Hillary is that she released her tax returns for every year of her professional life. Bernie: just one. When you take the word of an authoritarian that he's honest and his opponent is not, always ask to see the receipts. Because like Trump, Bernie used deflection to hide his own conflicts of interest. I'm much closer in values to him than Trump, but they both hide behind personality cults to stifle inquiries into their own histories.

Hillary's real sin is a kind of brittleness in her personality. Her too-eager smile but guarded eyes suggest someone who's not a natural political performer. You either have that gift or you don't. Republicans and the hard left used that deficit to hammer her as "untrustworthy". But her public life was an open book. You could argue about the merits of those positions but not that she was honest in her advocacy of them. The moonbeam left is not unlike the crackpot right in that both rely on their reptilian brains to make reality comport with their feelings. This is why authoritarianism is as much a danger on the left as it is on the right.

The admitted card carrying Arizona Republican cop who relentlessly criticized Clinton throughout the 2016 presidential campaign and thereafter is cagey about his actual vote. No matter, de facto he was as ardent a Trump supporter as a Russian bot.

Nice try.
But Not true.
And i dont hide behind truck driver CB handles.

In a foreword written in the dark days of 1937, when Fascism, not democracy, was on the rise, they offered a sober historian’s creed: “We live today in perilous times; so did many of our forefathers. They sometimes made mistakes; let us strive to learn not to repeat these errors.

HMLS Heartland Multiple Listing Service, Inc. (Missouri)
HMLS His Majesty's Land Ship (British Army)
HMLS High/Medium/Low Selector
HMLS Houston Mud Logging Supplies, LLC (Texas)
HMLS High-Modulus Low-Shrinkage (polyester tire cords)
HMLS Helioplis Modern Language School

Ever the cop, always trying to elicit personal information.

Since 1959 when I had my last physical confrontation behind a McDonald's at Central Avenue and Indian School Road with three (3) guys in a mood to fight I have been mostly successful in not being ANGRY. For even at 19 it became obvious to me that anger clouded my abilities to be logical, rational and sensible about my actions and reactions. I practiced this thru my police carrier using speech rather than physical force or the gun to get the job done. At 78 on the 9th I will do my best to continue this philosophy.
So I suggest finding a way to rid oneself of your ANGER and work on the future .

i iz tinking bout gatin me one of dem der trucker handls. Hows bout dis


Acronym Definition
CLSW Cliff Swallow (bird species Hirundo pyrrhonota)
CLSW Chinese Lexical Semantics Workshop
CLSW Clinical Licensed Social Worker

28 Reasons Why The Rich And Super-Rich Should Vote For Democrats

Liberal Democracy is a Wealth Producer, the greatest in the history of the world.

Great blog,
mucho divertido.
Another great day here in the great Sonoran Paradise.
A mild 102 forecast.
Great morning. Feed the birds and watered the cacti.
And chatted with
make that howled!

Hasta luego

HMLS, u might want to work on your satirical humor levels.
Finding someone today is as easy as a couple of clicks. All kinds of for profit web sites out for those so inclined.
I am still Cal Lash
Not some phony aka like CLSW

Had a club meeting with Mike Petro (Deconstructing the Manifesto)yesterday. Missing were Walt, Ruben, Roger, and Jerry.
All who used to or still do post by their real names.
Mike is a real human being, a mild mannered intelligent soul not in need of anger management sessions. He came to this blog a for a long time but has moved to a more reflective mode.
Mike did recommend two books for reading.

Okay Cal, got it.

Rogue Columnist, I do believe there were a lot of things HRC could have--and should have made clearer. She didn't have to make them to me, but she could have made a better case to the great political middle.

I think she could have made a better case for being a Washington insider and how that knowledge and connectivity would have made her both a more "stabilizing" candidate and an asset to good international relations. These were her "qualifications," and I think she didn't play them up enough because she was entranced by the polls.

Instead, this relative silence on her past fed right into the conservative narrative of her insider status being a hindrance to "change." Adding to that was her seeming lack of bravado and pride in standing up for--and communicating loudly--what she had accomplished--and this fed into a slightly different conservative narrative of her relative lack of accomplishments. Her seeming reticence to viciously attack these conservative narratives seemed to many on the right that she had "something to hide."

Above all, Hillary tried to play nice, and that is something an America built on aggressive and militaristic egotism found to be almost confirming her "lack of chutzpah," and thus, unsuitability to compete in a "macho" world.

Hillary may not have had the "greasy dirt" of Washington clinging to her, but she sure presented the appearance of such a possibility by not reinventing herself as a "ballsy broad."

I think many more Americans might have voted for her if she were a "take no prisoners" hellion. More of them would respect her than would revile her for being "in your face." Issues mattered, but the personality selling those issues is as much an asset to making people bite.

As Sun Tzu said in The Art of War, "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer." Von Clausewitz said, "War is politics by other means." Politics is war by civilized (?) means.

I like Bernie's ideas, but I am a pragmatist enough to know how my politcal enemies on the far right use the term Socialist interchangeably with Communist.

In a perfect world, that wouldn't matter, but greed is a big problem for those trying to teach sharing to those who want more, more, more.

Leftist Obrador wins by huge landside in Mexico's Presidential election. Gonna be interesting to see how long the CIA and DEA let him stay in power.

Bradley, Hillary was far from an ideal candidate. She couldn't give a rousing speech and her persona was icy instead of warm. She had been saddled, mostly unfairly, with baggage from 25 years of being in the public limelight. And, yes, she was an insider in a country really too stupid to understand just how precious knowledge and experience are in Washington.

The reason we keep relitigating 2016 is simple. We're assessing the damage to democracy and our nation's future. How did this happen that we elected an asset of Vladimir Putin president? How is it that 60 plus million Americans are so miserably uninformed that they approve of his performance and forgive his treason? But first we have to explain why she lost.

She was never going to win in a landslide. The prognosticating wizard Sam Wang pegged the Democrat's chances at only 50-50 going into 2016. She faced a steady headwind in the mainstream media that treated her e-mail server like the Pumpkin Papers of 70 years ago. James Comey dealt the lethal blow in October of 2016 with his grandstanding "reopening" of the investigation into that server. But the really telling blow came from below: the millions of centrist and liberal Americans who either didn't vote or voted third party.

As weak a candidate as Clinton was, she still won by nearly three million votes. In a real democracy, she would be president. But we live in the Neo-Confederate version of democracy that favors slave states and less-educated rural states. That's not changing going forward, either. Democrats are now at a permanent disadvantage thanks to Neo-Confederate voter suppression and gerrymandering.

The "if" game has its place but it frustrates me anyway. Most of those playing it are putting the onus on the candidate instead of where it really belongs - ourselves. We are responsible for this democracy but we marinate our minds in a frothy brew of reality TV, social media, and endless, pointless shopping. Democracy shouldn't have to depend on one person's self-marketing skills. It was up to us to carry her across the finish line but we were too busy playing with our various body parts and smart phones.

It saddens me to say this, but Americans don't deserve democracy. We're too fucking lazy, self-centered, and just plain dumb. Sorry, but that's the truth.


Cal - most of those 3M votes were illegal. Don't ignore that. Yea, I know, I know I'm setting myself up for a barrage of nay-sayers, but objective investigations have proven that fact. Hillary Clinton is the Kiss of Death, in more ways than one. I'm praying that she stays dead.

Terri, you have no proof, just the heavy breathing of right-wing conspiracy theorists. This points out the difference between liberals and the American right. With the exception of the far left, "liberals" don't believe in that kind of crap. We still have journalistic and empirical standards. It's not an accident that the main "news" source on the right is a straight-up propaganda/entertainment channel. You are part of America's least informed cohort, Fox News viewers. I'm not trying to shame you. You're shaming yourself and making a mockery of your citizenship with your bad choices.

Dude, as muchas i love U and always wants to buy you coffee me think you have been breathing the SW Tucson airstream to deeply. Please forward me one "credible" study regarding your 3 million allegation.
I can send you 4 or more cites that said Sanders would have beat Trump. Maybe because Bernie would have got 6 million illegal votes?

FYI, Cal, there are no citations that show Bernie would have beaten Trump. You can't prove a counterfactual. You can do what Terry is doing and assert nonsense as fact, but all that does is demonstrate why Donald Trump is president and not Hillary Clinton. Because Trump does this daily - assert without evidence that something is true - and millions of geriatric citizens nod their heads in assent. Don't play their game.

I agree

I am one "geriatric citizen" who does not nod his head in assent. Never have never will if I don't believe in what is being said or done. It does not matter who is saying or doing it.

Ramjet, I'm geriatric, too, but it's our demographic that is the bedrock of the far-right counterrevolution. The average age of a Fox News viewer is 69. And over-65 is the only age cohort that clearly favors the Republicans. The only solace I get here is that I doubt they'll ever be a hot civil war unless Golden Corral is staffing the mess halls.

A GOP win will be because of voter registration subterfuge.

Democrats Still Don’t Understand What They’re Up Against


Again, I have to defer to "In a perfect world, people would understand and support Socialism, but greed is a big problem for those trying to teach sharing to those who want more, more, more."

The mantra of "Democrats will raise your taxes," and "Socialism is Communism" resonate with those think they shouldn't have to pay anything but the bare minimum in taxes and have NO interest in everyone having the same level of freedom they enjoy.

This segment of the electorate is lost to Socialist Democrats. However, as more and more young people see their financial freedom and liberty becoming indentured servitude to service their student debt, Socialism starts to look more appealing.

Maybe Hillary did some unethical shenanigans to secure the Democratic nomination. I truly wanted Sanders to get it, but when that fizzled, I reluctantly supported Clinton. I felt she was too much "in the middle," and I wanted her to show more daring in both her politics and her campaigning. In the debates, I was yelling at the screen, "Why aren't you getting in trump's face? Can't you just feel he's hovering in your personal space?"

When Hillary became the nominee, I knew she was capable and would handle the responsibilities at least competently. That's why I voted for her.

If there were people who withheld their votes from Clinton because of how she got the nomination, or because she was too middle of the road, they are in the same boat as James Comey. They've got the guilt of seeing how they aided trump, and enabled his willfully ignorant "ugly Americanism" to gain full "America Uber Alles" flower.

I'm glad I voted for Hillary, though a small part of that vote was against trump.

"Hot Civil War"
Just Get enough Evangelists in that "Golden Corral"

"All gods who receive homage are cruel. All gods dispense suffering without reason.Otherwise they would not be worshipped. Through indiscriminate suffering men know fear and fear is the most divine emotion. It is the stones for altars and the beginning of wisdom. Half gods are worshipped in wine and flowers.

Real Gods require blood"

Zora Neale Hurston in
Their eyes were watching god

Rogue, the 90’s were, indeed, a time of great optimism. The lunch hour always presented something of interest, even if inedible, and recess always provided an opportunity to make new friends and play tag or four-square with old.

Unable to reminisce on the more notable elements of the decade I’ve taken to researching the recent past much as I do the distant – seeking out the great thinkers and getting lost in their thoughts. As the 90’s had no Bastiat, no Lock, et al, one must look to this wisdom of the past, internalize it, and formulate/adjust one’s worldview - to be used as a lens in an effort to justly examine the views of flawed and ignorant men. This is a pattern that I wish I experienced more when dealing with the Left. In this light - a frequent commenter, whose prose perfectly presents his periodic pseudo-prophetic panic (hysteria), once noted in this blog that “You’re only as smart as your media”. I always assumed one gained wisdom with age. I’m far from wise, but I’m wise enough to know that knowledge without wisdom is a keelboat without a keel – you will be battered by the frequent squalls of hysteria from the last gasps of a dying, “disrupted” media - as this commenter surely is. Day after day, hour after hour, post after post.

This inability to critically review information and form a defensible opinion is an endemic problem in America (in my view, the fault of the modern public education regime), notably and (now) more prominently displayed by the left. Instead of internalizing an issue and using one’s previously constructed worldview to issue a judgement or opinion, they instead outsource their thinking to the media and plagiarize the words of others. How many times have I seen the stolen talking points here? “Uniquely Unqualified”, “Putin Puppet”, etc. It is a stolen, broken record, but who can blame them? Thinking is hard.

This ventriloquism of the Left is a sweet, sweet sonnet to my ears. As a consequence, in the short-term, conservatives have won the mid-terms. When leftist periodicals proclaim that “Bernie Sander is not the Left” – you’ve lost, in my estimation, 90+% of America. In the long-term, the self-described white geriatrics that comment here are inclined to believe that the other slightly older white geriatrics (conservatives) will die out (slightly before them) and the country will blast-off into a leftist utopian paradise! Sorry, Millennial here – we see the lunacy and we want to limit the contagion. Conservativism is the vaccine for this madness.

I apologize for the lack of decorum, but let’s not kid ourselves, the left abandoned decorum (and sanity) the moment they screeched “Nazi” at their political opponents.

Back to the original topic, I agree that science was accepted. Indeed, there were only two genders in the 90’s. That said, I must insist that the suits of the 90’s were gratuitously oversized. That’s not to say that we haven’t descended into a “derelict chic” norm – undoubtedly, we have – in nearly all elements of life. This is a direct consequence of our cultural elites and our leftist cultural movements that promote the tolerance of depravity and the demonization of virtue. The basic premise of the new left’s victim culture is the idolization of your miserable-self and the condemnation of competence. Incompetence is virtue, arête is sin.

Our culture was more noble in the 90’s.

ὀστρακισμός, I hope you’re real. Heterodox views are welcome. A troll from the past is not.

Mr Ostracism from Greece is back.
He said what?
Too intelligent for my feeble intellect.

ὀστρακισμός, I think the whole idea of there being only two genders, and with it only one way to go, is completely antithetical to what God would want.

This idea that the world is only heterosexual is completely antithetical to freedom of choice--and freedom of choice is what God wants us to have. Was there a moat of crocodiles, a 10,000 volt fence, or any kind of barrier that prevented, impeded, or controlled Adam and Eve's access to that tree?

Way too many Christians(?) use the Bible as some kind of justification for trying to control, impede, and prevent those they don't like, despise, and hate from having the liberty and freedom these Christians(?) profess to love so dearly.

Passive-aggressive, "I want it only for me," greediness at its finest. And when I start talking "control," I ask this question, "Who is about control, God, or Satan?"

You see, ὀστρακισμός, I believe humans cannot determine their true fate without freedom of choice and free will. I also believe God wants humans to have freedom so they can determine their true nature, whether that be spiritual, sexual, psychological, sociological, or completely deviant to any and all established "norms."

Satan, on the other hand, IS the force of control, and I believe many Christians(?), as well as religious zealots worldwide, use their "holier than thou" mindset as a force to control that which they don't like, despise, and hate.

And, on this Independence Day, what does this quote from the Declaration of Independence, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.," mean? What does "Creator" mean if not God? What does "One Nation Under God, " and "In God We Trust" mean?

I think it means that Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness means freedom of choice and free will to determine who and what you are because we Americans are supposed to follow a path of allowing everyone freedom and liberty--not just the ones we like and approve of.

The Founding Fathers understood that--and they would want us to be a nation following the dictum that God loves every human being to the point of allowing then the freedom and liberty to be themselves.

Cal, he didn't say anything, which is why he thinks himself profound. There's a big difference between knowing some political philosophy and being able to integrate it into current political passions. The reason "originalism" is so popular among reactionaries is that it merely substitutes imaginary but ironclad principles for engagement with current social reality. There's a tell you catch when reading these would-be William F Buckley Juniors: their pomposity is untethered to any cogent argument. It's really the vanity of the junior-high pedant pretending he's as smart as Kant or "Lock".

"He said what?", indeed.

Thanks Soleri.
I must admit for the last 13 years i have had a copy of Bill Buckley's "Miles to go" on my book shelf, next to a copy of a Jean Genet biography. Bill was eaiser reading for me than our above boy from Greece.
Which given todays current world political situstion reminds of a really old joke.

Being a born pragmatist, I've never forgiven those who voted for Nader and am stunned at how people fell for the lies told about Hillary. Voting should not be an exercise in stroking one's ego. Wish there were many more Solaris in the world.


Mary Tooley, I'm sure much of the anti-Hillary rhetoric was fueled by misogyny--which is definitely a trait of many, many, many more republicans than Democrats.

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